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Sabarimala row: BJP leader taken into preventive custody from Nilakkal

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Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 17: The Kerala Police on Saturday evening took BJP General Secretary K Surendran into preventive custody from Nilakkal, the base camp, as he tried to leave for the Lord Ayyappa shrine at Sabarimala.

BJP General Secretary K Surendran

Surendran, who was carrying the "Irrumudikettu" (bundle containing offerings for the Lord), was told by a police team led by Yatish Chandra, Superintendent of Police, not to proceed to the shrine as it would create law and order problems.

Surendran told the police he had come as a "Ayyappa Bhaktha" (devotee) and should be allowed to pray at the temple.

Sabarimala Karma Samithi calls for statewide hartal, BJP supports bandh call

Chanting "Swamiyae Ayyappa", Surendran and others with him jostled with police and tried to move forward saying there was no question of going back.

Three of his supporters were also with Surendran when he tried to leave for the shrine. They were removed by police and taken in a jeep.

Surendran later told PTI that he was being taken to the Chittar police station and said he did not know if he was being arrested or detained.

He also said he had taken receipt for performing the 'Neyyabhishekam' (ghee offering) ritual and 'Ganapathy Homam.' Police had taken Hindu Aikya Vedi President,

K P Sasikala, into preventive custody early Saturday from Marakootam near the Sannidhanam (temple complex). She was later produced before the Thiruvalla magistrate and released on bail.

Kerala came to a standstill on Saturday after an unexpected hartal called by right-wing Hindu outfits in protest against the arrest of a VHP leader KP Sasikala at Sabarimala.

Sporadic violence reported at various parts of the state and activists pelted stones at KSRTC buses. KSRTC services stopped following the violence.

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